Funds and classes can help you become backyard beekeeper

 Pete Ostrowski opens a hive at his Gloucester “beeyard” during a workshop for enthusiasts. (Photo courtesy Pete Ostrowski / January 5, 2013)

Have you ever thought about becoming a beekeeper?

There’s good reason to seriously consider this backyard pastime.

Bees pollinate our food crops, make honey for us and generally benefit the balance of nature, according to Pete Ostrowski, president of the local Colonial Beekeepers Association.

“Many people who start beekeeping just to get their own honey supply soon find out that the real advantage to keeping bees is that it connects you to the natural world in a very profound and immediate way,” says the Gloucester resident.

“You learn to read the weather, and you become sensitive to the cycle of natural seasons. You will know when certain plants, trees, and shrubs bloom and bud, and how long many flowers and plants will bloom and provide nectar. You will be more aware of rainfall and fluctuations in temperature.

“Finally, you will become aware of how insects and plants cooperate together in the complex web of natural ecology.”

To help you get started, Virginia and local beekeepers are offering some help.

To read the full article click here: Funds and classes can help you become backyard beekeeper

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Happy Holidays from Crockett Honey Co.

The team at Crockett Honey Co. would like to wish everyone a happy holiday and to have a safe and enjoyable New Year! We have appreciated all of the business and support from all of our friends, customers and fans in the past year. We look forward to continue serving all of you in the upcoming year of 2013! Have a safe and happy holiday!

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Spice Up Your Holiday with the Holiday Honey Ham Glaze Recipe

The holiday season is upon us! Which means its time for family, friends, food and celebration. One of the best parts of the holidays, is the incredible amount of recipes available that include honey! Some great honey baked dishes include moist honey-cake,  honey bun cake, honey glazed pork chops, Italian honey balls, and honey chicken salad. The centerpiece of most holiday meals involve a baked ham or turkey. One enjoyable recipe for the whole family is a delicious holiday honey baked ham:

Honey Baked Ham - Crockett Honey

Image via clevercase.com

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

Total Time: 3 hr 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 2 hr 45 min
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds bone-in ham
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place ham on a rack in a foil lined roasting pan. Bake the rounded side up for one hour.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix all ingredients together. Stir until it forms a nice thick glaze.

Rub on half of the glaze and bake for 30 minutes more. Flip the ham over and rub on remaining glaze and bake for 1 hour more. Remove from oven and allow the ham to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

For more information on this recipe Click Here: Honey Baked Ham

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Have a Birthday Coming Up? You Won’t Want To Miss This Cake Recipe.

Bee Birthday Cake - Crockett Honey

Image via honey.com

Ingredients

  • - Cooking spray
  • - All-purpose flour, for dusting pans
  • 2 cups – white whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons – baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/4 cup – butter, softened
  • 2 – eggs
  • 1 cup – honey
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla
  • 2/3 cup – 1% milk
  • ===== – FROSTING, =====
  • 8 ounces – cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup – honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon – vanilla extrac

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and dust with all-purpose flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment with electric beaters, cream butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add honey and vanilla and beat until smooth. On low … [read full recipe below]

YIELD: 10 SERVINGS

To see the full recipe details click here: Bee Birthday Cake

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The Secret Life of Beekeepers

By Trish Gannon

Even local commercial beekeepers have not been spared from Colony Collapse Disorder

Fall is creeping up on the garden. Cilantro and dill tower over the beds, their flowers slowly drying and giving way to seed, and even clover (given free range in the garden due to its soil-building properties and the gardener’s lax attitude toward weeding) is reaching prodigious heights. Tomatoes have fruited, and new flowers have been ruthlessly cut away, allowing the plant’s energy to go directly into ripening fruit. The beans, lovers of cool weather, are still producing while the corn stands in silent testament to yet another year of not-quite-enough hot weather. And everywhere, there’s bees.

Fat bumblebees stumble their way from flower to flower while curious, tiny sweat bees will break away from the garden to hover curiously over the gardener, living up to their name by sniffing out perspiration. And then there’s the honey bees—working busily from flower to flower before heading back to their hive, likely located within a quarter-mile or so, though honey bees have been observed to range up to six miles while looking for food.

The honey bees, of course, are a particular delight to see in a time when the health of honey bees worldwide is still at risk. Though Colony Collapse Disorder doesn’t get the headlines it did  five years ago (“Bee Colony Collapses Could Threaten U.S. Food Supply” “Mystery Disease is Threat to Bee Colonies” “Honeybee Population Collapse Sparks Strange Theories”) the threat—and the mystery—remains.

To read more click here: http://riverjournal.com/vivvo/outdoors/gardening/2528-secretlife_gannon_092012.html

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A Post-Halloween Treat: Pumpkin Honey Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup – honey
  • 1/2 cup – butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 can (16 oz.) – solid-pack pumpkin
  • 4 – eggs
  • 4 cups – flour
  • 4 teaspoons – baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons – ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 teaspoon – ground nutmeg

Directions

In large bowl, cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Sift together remaining ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes.

To read the full recipe click here: http://www.honey.com/recipes/detail/6/pumpkin-honey-bread

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They Work Hard for their Honey

So you better treat them right

By Priscilla Long

On my 11th birthday, my father presented me with a hive of honeybees (Apis mellifera) for my very own. It was part of his apiary, a long row of whitewashed bee boxes he kept along the edge of a field. I went out to visit my new hive, whereupon the bees rose up in a body and chased me away. At least that’s how I remember it. I thanked my father (I hope), but never went back to my hive. Although we possessed the usual beekeeper gloves and veiled bee helmet, my father could go out and work his bees in his shirtsleeves. He would bring the honey in to one of the farm’s small outbuildings—our honey house—and we would extract honey from honeycombs by whirling it in a honey extractor centrifuge. We’d pour the honey into jars, label the jars, and sell them door-to-door in town (Chestertown, Maryland). Sales were easy since everyone adored Winslow Long’s honey.

I thought, at age 11, that I knew quite a bit about honeybees. Ha Ha.

Honeybees pollinate. They go out among the flowers and collect nectar, from which they make honey, and pollen, which they use as food. Along the way, of course, they distribute pollen from flower to flower.

Flowers are the sexual organs of angiosperms (flowering plants). The flower’s female part, the stigma, is typically in the center; it sits atop a tubular “style” that rises up from the ovary. The male parts, anthers, sit on filaments surrounding the stigma. Anthers produce pollen grains that produce sperm. Bees don’t see red well, but they are attracted to yellow, blue, and violet. Petals provide landing pads, and many petals have a nectar gland at their base. Flowers also put out fragrance molecules to draw pollinators.

To read the full story click here: http://theamericanscholar.org/they-work-hard-for-their-honey/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theamericanscholar%2FyaSQ+%28The+American+Scholar%29

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More than 80 reasons to use honey as a DIY home remedy for better health and good eats

By JB Bardot

(NaturalNews) Everyone knows honey tastes sweet and is delicious mixed with tea and lemon; but chances are you never realized how many health-related uses this versatile food possesses. It makes a wonderful DIY home remedy that helps to cure many conditions that ail you. The best honey is one that is totally raw, organic and contains the honeycomb in the jar. It should include royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen for maximum health benefits.

Medicinal Uses

~ Moisturize skin with a mixture of honey, eggs and flour
~ Honey is antibacterial and makes a powerful antiseptic to cleanse and heal wounds and prevent scabs from sticking to bandages
~ Kills viruses and bacterial infections when mixed and eaten with raw, minced garlic
~ Boosts energy, reduces fatigue, stimulates mental alertness, strengthens immunity, provides minerals, vitamins, antioxidants
~ Restores eyesight, relieves a sore throat, makes an effective cough syrup
~ Prevents heart disease by improving blood flow and prevents damage to capillaries
~ Regulates the bowels; cures colitis and IBS
~ Soothes burns, disinfects wounds, reduces inflammation and pain, promotes faster healing
~ Reduces anxiety and acts as a sedative; creating calm and restful sleep, alkalizes body’s pH
~ Anti-cancer agents protect against the formation of tumors
~ Relieves indigestion and acid reflux, heals peptic ulcers
~ Makes a great lip balm and refreshing herbal wash or lotion
~ Destroys bacteria causing acne, prevents scarring
~ Flushes parasites from liver and colon
~ Heal diabetic ulcers with topical applications
~ Mix with powdered herbs for topical applications or to reduce bitterness when taken internally
~ Smooths and exfoliates facial skin, reduces surface lines, softens dry skin on elbows and heels
~ Add to green coconut water for supercharged athletic drinks
~ Relieve hangovers by eating honey the morning after
~ Protect hair from split ends with a honey conditioner; honey rinse promotes shiny hair
~ Soften hard water by adding honey to bath water
~ Speeds metabolism to stimulate weight loss
~ Improves digestion with natural enzymes
~ Mix honey and lemon with warm water first thing in the morning for an effective cleanse
~ Anti-fungal properties cure vaginal yeast infections and athlete’s foot
~ Relieve hay fever by chewing on honeycomb
~ Protects topically and internally against pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA
~ Builds immunity to hay fever allergens by mixing honey and bee pollen and take early in season
~ Quenches thirst and relieves heat stroke; stops hiccups
~ Lessens the effects of poisons and toxins
~ Has mild laxative properties
~ Relieves asthma when mixed with black pepper and ginger
~ Controls blood pressure when mixed with fresh garlic juice

To read the whole article click here: http://www.naturalnews.com/036649_honey_home_remedies_medicine.html

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Crockett Honey will Participate in Tempe Specialty Food Day

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell will declare Sept. 13 Tempe Specialty Food Day, spotlighting a cottage industry of food manufactures in the city who prepare food for grocery stores locally as well as around the country.

Food is at the heart of Tempe. One of the city’s very first businesses, the Hayden Flour Mill, created a vital food product for not only Tempe but also the surrounding area, beginning in 1874.

Mitchell will formally proclaim the day at a media event on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Hayden Flour Mill. The event happens from 5 – 9 a.m.

Attending the Sept. 13 event will be:
• Tempe Farmers Market
• Decio Pasta
• Arizona Cheese Company
• Four Peaks Brewery
• Cortez Coffee
• Poppa Maize
• And many others

There are more than a dozen of these small businesses in Tempe that provide everything from honey to beer, hummus to blue cheese. They contribute greatly not only to our palates, but also to the economy. Tempe’s Arizona Cheese Co. produces more blue cheese than anywhere else in the country. And many of these businesses are experiencing growth, even in a down economy. In the last three years, Decio Pasta has increased its number of employees from three to 16. Four Peaks Brewery is adding a new location.

Tempe Farmers Market provides an outlet for many of these local companies as well as products such as locally made soaps, pet supplies and household goods. Owner Stacey Dutton will offer a display of these goods and talk about the nutritional and economic importance of buying local foods.

These are green businesses, with many of these products using organic and local ingredients.

According to Local First, 49 cents of every dollar spent with a local company stays in the community, as compared with just 13 cents with national chains. Purchasing locally-crafted products creates jobs and helps keep city services at a high level.

To find a list of these small businesses, visit www.tempe.gov/business and click on Shop Tempe – you will find a link there to Homemade with Love in Tempe or just click on http://www.tempe.gov/index.aspx?page=2568 

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Crockett Honey Launches New Website to Feature Honey Recipes, Honey Facts and an Online Honey Store

The naturally produced and packaged honey from Crockett Honey can now be found on their new website along with interesting honey information and recipes.

Crockett Honey, a local Arizona honey company which produces and packages the finest honeys of the Southwest, has recently launched a new website at www.CrockettHoney.com featuring honey recipes, honey facts, Crockett’s Kids Club, social media updates, and an online store.

The new website’s eye-catching design gives visitors a glimpse at the wild Southwest flowers from which Crockett’s 100% natural honey is produced and the site is packed with information to serve as a user’s guide for honey lovers.  If you’re looking for delicious and adventurous recipes using honey as a prime ingredient, visit the website’s Recipes page which includes Bittersweet Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes and Almond Honey Rugelach.  Also visit the Why Honey Is Important page for facts about honey’s benefits in areas such as beauty products, a source of natural energy, and honey’s uses for relief from symptoms of the common cold.

CrockettHoney.com is also interactive with a feed pulling from Crockett Honey’s Twitter account as well as a link to honey activities in Crockett’s Kids Club.  Finally, the Crockett Honey online store presents images of each honey product ranging from the 12 oz. Desert Blossom Bear for $3.50 to bulk items such as 1 Gallon Desert Honey for $34.00.

About Crockett Honey

Crockett Honey was founded in 1945 and now operates 6,500 beehives located along the Colorado River near parker, AZ.  The company bottles their 100% natural honey in Tempe, AZ using a method which does not alter the natural quality or change the flavor.  Crockett Honey’s product comes from many floral sources in the Sonoran Desert for the finest Southwest honey.  To learn more, please visit http://crocketthoney.com

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